The Friends provide funds and volunteers to support many events throughout the year at Devil’s Lake State Park. The following are events we have supported with volunteers and/or funding over the past few years.
FODL Annual Meeting
Every autumn, the FODL holds an annual meeting for our members at the Chateau. We provide a dinner free to members, invite a guest speaker and share pertinent information from our past year and year ahead.
Music in the Park
Every year, the Friends sponsors three bands to play in the picnic area near the Chateau on the last Sundays of June, July and August. Guests get to sit back, relax, and enjoy talented musicians play while taking in the splendor of Devil’s Lake.
Shakespeare in the Park
The Summit Players have visited Devil’s Lake State Park annually to provide a free workshop and play to Park visitors. The theater group entertains with minimal props in a production that is “Shakespeare out of a trunk.” The production is always entertaining, and brings smiles to all who attend. The Friends provide financial support to help pay for the group’s production costs.
Natural & Human History & Interpretation
We have supported birdwatching events, including Birds and Bagels and Birds and Brats. Open to all Park guests, Park Naturalist, Susan Johansen, leads bird enthusiasts in “lawn chair” birdwatching activities at Steinke Basin. The Friends lends volunteer support and provides refreshments for participants to enjoy while watching our local flying and flapping friends.
Fox of the River Voyageur LLC Tours
The Fox of the River Voyageur tour includes a trip across Devil’s Lake in a fur trade era replica 28-foot wooden handmade canoe. Participants learn about the “Voyageur way of life,” in a hands-on experience while paddling the canoe with other participants. The experience is free to the public due to sponsorship from the Friends.
Geology Field Trip
In May 2018, the Friends sponsored its first annual Geology Field Trip, led by Board member and professional geoglogist, Bernadette Greenwood. This members-only trip ventured to three famous geological landmarks in the Baraboo area:
Ableman’s Gorge in Rock Springs
Point-of-Rocks along US-12
the East Bluff Trail to Elephant Rock at Devil’s Lake State Park
We hope to continue this tradition taking members to other significant geological locations across the Baraboo area.
Member’s Only Kayak Tour
Each year, the Friends sponsors a members-only kayak tour led by Park naturalist, Sue Johansen, who offers classes and activities throughout the year from the Nature Center. The kayak tour takes participants on a two-hour journey across Devil’s Lake that explores the lake’s unique geology, spectacular views, and native wildlife.
The annual Halloween Hike and Candlelight Snowshoe at Devil’s Lake are very popular, well-attended events.
Halloween Hike participants are greeted at the Chateau by Park staff and volunteers who provide information for a one-mile torch-lit hike, a trivia game, craft station, and more. The Friends provide volunteer support, refreshments, and campfire entertainment for guests during the Halloween Hike Event.
Candlelight Snowshoe participants can bring their own snowshoes, or borrow snowshoes purchased by Friends donations. The self-guided snowshoe hike begins at Rock Elm Shelter and meanders through a candle-lit winter wonderland. The Friends also provides volunteer support and refreshments for participants to enjoy by the campfire.
Devil’s Challenge Triathlon
The Friends have traditionally helped recruit volunteers for the event. We usually help park cars and occasionally help with race logistics (water stations, etc). Event sponsors usually donate to the Friends to thank us for the support.
Volunteer Work Days
The 2019 Volunteer Vacation will be held August 11 to 17, 2019. Join other DLSP enthusiasts to work with Park staff to improve our trails. Guests will camp (with their own gear) at the Park with meals and snacks provided by FODL. Don’t worry, there will be time set aside from the trail work to relax and enjoy the park!
Participants must be 18 years of age or older (as of August 10, 2019) and commit to participate for the entire week. All work and meal supplies are provided. Contact Dave Barger for additional information.
Work *Play* Earth Day
This annual event is part of a state-wide effort by Friends of Wisconsin State Parks to celebrate Earth Day while helping out and enjoying a Wisconsin State Park System property. 30+ park properties participate, including Devil’s Lake State Park. In 2017, 1,437 volunteers participated donating more than 4,000 hours state-wide. Specific dates vary year to year, but this event is always close to Earth Day.
Volunteers can join DNR staff, Friends, and people from nearby communities to help repair and enhance park, forest and trail properties. "These volunteer events are a great way to get out in the spring and shake the cobwebs off after the long winter," said Janet Hutchens, volunteer coordinator for the Wisconsin State Park System. "These events are not only a great way to give back to park properties you enjoy using throughout the year, they are great opportunity to socialize with others who share your love of the outdoors and want to help protect our environment."
Activities on Work Play Earth Day have included installing benches, removing invasive plants, painting picnic tables and other structures, raking and cleaning up leaves and picking up litter. The Friends provide lunches and refreshments for volunteers.